How Anik Singal Built Lurn From Scratch And The #1 Skill You Need In Business
In the podcast:
00:39 – Episode Overview
02:23 – Guest Introduction
15:33 – Basics To Apply In Your Business
18:38 – Anik Singal’s Copywriting Academy
27:20 – The Five Steps That Shapes A Copy
35:25 – How He Built Up Conversion Academy
43:23 – What His Funnels Looks Like for Challenges
50:18 – Biggest Mistake Along His Journey
52:50 – Learn More About Anik Singal
Welcome back to another episode of Teach traffic. I’m your host, Ilana Wechsler. And today I’ve got a really exciting episode for you. Today I had the pleasure of interviewing a guy called Anik Singal, who has been in the online marketing space for over 17 years which is pretty crazy. When you think about it.
He’s done So many different things online, he shares his incredible journey, which he says is kind of like a Hollywood script where he built up a big business, he lost it all. And then he built it all back up again.
So there’s definitely takeaways to learn from his journey. But importantly, we talked about the number one skill that you need in online business, and importantly, how he is building his current business, which is Lurn.com, as well as a bunch of other businesses as well, a truly fascinating and interesting person to listen t, I have the pleasure of speaking to him and the honor to share it with you as my audience.
So definitely check out this episode, we’re going to make some show notes available for you at teachtraffic.com so definitely check out the show notes so that you don’t have to worry about writing notes. You can simply download them from our website for free.
And if you want to learn how to run paid traffic profitably, definitely check out our online community at teachtraffic.com and I’d love to personally help you grow your campaigns and therefore grow your business online.
Most people don’t know I do offer free audits of ad accounts in my membership, where you can get my advice personally as to what is doing well in your campaign and what’s not. So you can definitely check it out there. All right, let’s not waste any more further time. Let’s get stuck in today’s episode.
Thank you so much for coming on today’s episode.
Yeah, no problem and thank you for having me. It’s an honor and I’ll give you a little trick to remember my name’s pronunciation because I know it gets a little truck tricky. Sonic the Hedgehog. So I just say chop off “So” and “onic”. Sonic the Hedgehog.
Yeah, nice. Okay, I have to remember that. Sorry if I butchered your name (laughs).
Oh no! It’s all good!
Maybe it’s part of my accent. So yeah, look, thank you so much for agreeing to come on my show, I know time is a very valuable resource for people.
But I’ve been watching your journey for quite a long time online probably unbeknownst to you, and you’ve done so many things online and I thought it would be wonderful to hear a little bit more about you and your journey. I’m always fascinated in people’s journey.
And because you’ve got a really, really interesting journey, which is revealed on your website, but I thought maybe you could sort of share a little bit about your journey and then we can talk about how you’ve built Lurn, Lurn.com into what it is today and specifically your traffic journey, which will sort of get into the weeds a little bit a bit later, but it starting out do you want to maybe tell us how you got here today and I’m sure it’s hasn’t been a smooth path.
So yeah, I thought maybe it might be interesting to share.
Yeah, I’d love to, I always say you know, depends on how much time we have because I can give you those give you the full drama-filled Hollywood Story. And that’s what my journey truly is, could be a movie.
And to give you a synopsis, I mean I’ve my journey has taken me down a track of starting with nothing struggling hustling you know, there’s that montage scene were just working really hard 18 months I don’t know how I survived it I should have quit many times, but somehow I did.
Then there’s angelic interference and intervention of moments where I truly believe God stepped in and helped me. There are moments where I found myself in a dark corner of a hotel, raining pouring outside a really bad motel like a rundown motel drinking whiskey until it disappeared for a week. You know, borderline alcoholism.
I lost it all and fell $1.7 million in debt when I was 26 years old. Ended up even having my parent’s entire home. put at risk. My dad had to take a refinance. To get back to the top and just you know to today, living in my dream home, married to the dream woman, driving my dream cars, running a nonprofit building multiple businesses, you know, building schools for children and adopting villages in East Africa. It’s got the whole thing. It’s got like everything in it.
And I share the synopsis part of it early because that’s what it’s about, you know, being an entrepreneur. I get this all the time I see it from my friends, right?
Because they come over, they see the house, they see the cars and innately you know, every time something big happens in my life, I’m either interviewed on some big TV show, I bought a nice car or bought a house and it leads to an influx of people in my personal life.
They’ll come and say, “Anik, show me what you do. Tell me you know, I want to learn what you do”. And now it’s just chuckled because it’s something I can really call out.
And one of my closest friends, he’s one of my three best friends. I’ve known him since I was a kid. We had been on the path together for years where every three to four months he would come to me and he would say, “You know, man, I really want to learn how to make more money. I want to know what to do. I’m ready to help me support me”.
And it got to the point like the “Boy that Cried, Wolf”. And so I would just say, Okay, sure. What that usually meant was, I want you to do all of it for me, and I’d want the paychecks. And so I’m going to sit here and let you build my business for me and I have a hard rule about that with my friends or anybody.
So I give them some tasks. I’ve given them some things to do. And he disappeared a week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, nothing back. These are the types of tasks that I would do in a day.
And finally, eventually, you know, oh, well this happened that happened. I was hoping I could just come over maybe you could show me this and I’d say “No, you know, that’s not how this is gonna work. You have the resources go get it done, at least do the first version”.
It kept happening years, it would fall away and fizzle out until three, four months later, again, he’d be back we had this moment where we had a heart to heart one time, he was having a baby and he came to me again, I’m having a kid I need more money.
Okay, man, let’s have a conversation. So this is what it is. This is life, you fall away all the time. And he’d say, Well, you know, the weekend’s come up.
My wife has this for me to do happy hours, this comes up, I got social engagements I, I can’t say no to those things. And so I sat him down and I said, here’s the deal. You’re gonna have to. Being an entrepreneur, it’s not what you think. It’s, it’s we talked about financial freedom. We do.
And sure enough, I have a ton of financial freedom, but I have a lot of sacrifices, and I have a lot of choices I’ve made in my life. Are you ready to make them?
So we went through, I said, No more Saturday nights and weekend nights, your wife is gonna have to go to those parties alone. You have to get her buy-in. You know, when you come home every day at 6pm you can play with your kid till eight and that kid goes to bed and you go to work.
And he came to me, you know what, a few days later and he literally looked me in the face and he said, I talked to my wife about it. I listen to what you said, You know what, man, this isn’t for me. I don’t want to do this.
I love my happy hours. I love this and I and I looked at him and I said there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s great. But my story is really a story that exemplifies sacrifice, it exemplifies choices because that’s what we have we innately as humans, we have choices and our life is a series of choice selections and you know, making certain choices.
There’s no right or wrong. But when I was in college, that’s where my story started. I started in college, to be a doctor and I always have this joke. I’m Indian by descent, born and brought up in America, but brown by brown by heart, and we become doctors. It’s what we do.
You know, it’s what our families want us to do. And I grew up looking around me and everyone that was wealthy, everyone that had money, everyone that had nice cars, nice houses, they were doctors, so I just thought it’d be a doctor who studied really hard work really hard and got into one of the best programs in the world.
I was on a one-way ticket up to becoming a surgeon or a doctor, whatever I wanted. But a week into college, I can’t open my eyes. I’m like, Oh my god, what have I done? This is horrible. I’m miserable. I don’t want to do this.
So one thing led to another, I ended up making a really tough decision that Thanks God my parents are so amazing. They supported me a couple of years later, I left the med school track when I went to business school.
So I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I wanted to be in business, and left behind a full scholarship. Now my parents have to spend all this money, I just literally gave my parents all this debt that they have to do just because their son just wasn’t happy with the perfect track and the perfect road.
I mean, I was on the perfect thing. And when I got into business school, within two weeks of that, I realized I hated that too. And now I’m getting really worried because I thought, Oh, man, I’m gonna be completely and I’m just gonna be broke.
I’m gonna be in my parent’s basement, and I realized something I did a lot of self-reflection. It’s something I’m very good at. I sat down and said, What’s going on? I realized it wasn’t about the school. It wasn’t about the subject. It was just about the fact that I couldn’t resonate with the idea of sitting around in-class learning theory, I wanted to go out and do it. So that was when I decided I’m gonna start a business.
Now, here’s a problem. I had $100 to my name. Back in my business, I’m going to start. So I had a job. I was a financial planner. And so I would make some money, but for some reason, all that money would just go right back out into that into the job.
So here’s my schedule. I get up in the morning, I go to class, usually from about 7:30 to 1:30, or 2:30. Around that time, I would skip to drive about 45 minutes to the area where my clients used to live.
This is almost every day, I would work with my clients till usually like seven or 8pm, drive back to my school, have dinner, maybe hang out with friends for an hour or two in the dorm or in the apartment and start working on my business at about 10 at night.
And I do that until about one or two in the morning, three in the morning. Get up. I mean, go to sleep, get up and do the same thing all over again. The next day. There were no fraternity parties. There was no going out and watching football games or basketball games. These are the active choices I’ve made now.
Yes, I realized I missed out on that in my college. But I have in return something much different which I value more. So I struggled a lot for 18 months. I couldn’t make a penny and then this one moment happened. And this is where I say I’ve had a couple of angelic moments in my life.
I went to this forum that I used to sit in and I just said guys, that’s it. I’m done. I quit like every man has his limits. I’m gonna go off and do the job thing. I’m getting some good job offers. I’m about to graduate, I can’t deal with this anymore.
And that day I got a message from someone to this day I have no idea who the person was. They had no history on the forum, they said, kid, and I want to see you quit. I’ve been watching your house for the last year, I will sit here and message you.
And not nonstop for the next 24 hours and I will help you make your first dollar so you don’t quit. Now, here’s the crazy thing back then we didn’t have Facebook, we didn’t have Skype. We didn’t have any of these things. I’ve been doing this since before that.
And sure enough, this person delivered, they stayed up. But I almost said no, by the way. Again, life is a series of choices. I almost said no, because I thought there was someone on the forum just trolling me my pain. But I decided what do I have to lose? I said yes.
And sure enough private messaging through the forum. They were working with me and I did it. I went to bed at three in the morning, woke up the next day, ran to the computer, and sure enough, this person’s formula had worked.
I made $300. It was more money I made in one night of sleeping than I had done in 18 months combined to work. And they stood to their word. They never responded to me after that. I never found out who they were and my only promise to them.
With that said two conditions to working with me one was, they will never reveal who they were. The second condition was I had to do this for other people. And I’m glad to say that I have fulfilled that second mission, but that’s where it started. I blew it up from there, never got a job after college, kept growing, grew the company to 10 million a year.
In the 2008 market collapse, I don’t know what I’m doing. By 2009 it started to impact my business. I don’t pivot. I don’t have mentors. I don’t know what I’m doing. Running this big company, young guy. Next thing I know I start making rogue moves, stupid moves, and I fell $1.7 million in debt.
It took a moment of me almost dying on a plane. Because I got so stressed. I was so sick from this all the time I was ending up in the hospital every three to four months with internal bleeding.
And I remember I was once on a flight to India and I got diverted and I got stuck in Amsterdam for a night and started having major sickness, major issues major bleeding.
The next day I boarded the flight and was sweating look white. I was messed up but luckily again angelic moment number two, the passengers next to me, saw something was wrong I was blacked out I don’t even know before the plane could take off, they wave the flight attendant down and the plane pulls over to the side.
Next thing I know I’m being woken up, someone’s slapping me. And I’m strapped, strapped to a stretcher. And I found out I’ve been walked down the plane into an ambulance.
And later on, I found out it lost almost 60% of my blood volume was about to go into shock. The plane took off within about an hour. I would have gone into shock and died.
And that was a real wake up call for me because I realized what am I doing to myself like, go get a job if entrepreneurship gonna kill you like you’re stressing yourself out I was dead.
I was ruining other people’s lives. And that was a real wake up call was probably the best thing that could have happened to me because that was when I became an entrepreneur.
That was when I decided I’m making an active decision here. And I changed how I made decisions that change how I ran my business. It changed how I listened to my mentors, it came back. I got rid of 96 from 96 people to six people on my staff closed in my offices.
And you know what I paid back $1.6 million dollars in debt in 16 months, I was back on top and 16 months by going back to the basics, going into the system and being coming and treating my business as a business and not as an emotion or not as a playground.
And from that was in 2013, year 2012, 2013 since then just took off and that was when learning became my passion because I asked myself a simple question Who am I? What am I? What am I doing? Why am I truly building this and that was from that my mission for learning emerged and since then stuck to the system stuck to the basics that never failed me built the company back up.
Now I’m a principal in seven companies, my wife and I run a nonprofit that would be the eighth company. And I live the life of my dreams, but man has I faced challenges, big-time challenges that that story I told about ending up in a hotel, you know, the dark thundering, it’s totally like it comes right out of a movie.
As you imagine it. It looked like that. That was when I owed people money. My phone was blowing up and people were calling in asking to be paid. I didn’t know what to do to turn my phone off and I ran away.
I ran into a city called Goa, I was in India during that time, because I had an office there and ran away to a city called Goa. Only one person knew where it was.
And even he didn’t know what hotel I was in. He just knew in Goa for a week it turned my phone off. And I sat in a corner of a hotel, I drank myself almost to death, by the way.
And I really caught myself in time, but this is, you know, I don’t say this to scare people from being an entrepreneur.
By the way, I made a lot of choices that many people don’t have to give you the story just to make you realize that it is a journey, and it’s got its ups and downs. And you just need to be ready to face those.
Basics To Apply In Your Business
Absolutely. And I also think it’s a marathon, not a sprint, as you say, and so it’s you’ve got to pace yourself. And so I don’t know I’m not so for the whole hustle mantra and work yourself to the bone because it is a marathon and you’ve got to be able to pace yourself through.
You mentioned and it’s an amazing story, which I have sort of reading online so I was a little bit familiar with it. But as you say it is the true Hollywood formula story I’m you should probably make a movie about your story.
But anyway, you mentioned sort of towards the end of your story that in order to rebound, you went back to the basics.
Do you want to maybe touch on, in your opinion, what those basics are for people and sort of how they could probably apply to their current business?
Absolutely. Very simple. And I’m going to completely underwhelm you now. So the basics to my business, I’ve got seven of them. Actually, again, go back and consider my nonprofit business because it’s an eight and a half step one, audience, build an audience.
You need 1000 people, 500 people, 100 people, you know, 100 people can build you a six-figure business. You need people that are going to know who you are, that are going to trust you that are going to follow you, and that is going to look up to you for whatever the topic is.
I don’t care if it’s rose gardening, I don’t care if it’s home goods, ecomm store or if you’re out It doesn’t matter whatever it is 100 people at least that look at you and say you are the authority on this subject, I will listen to what you say and then take action upon it.
So you need an audience. Number two, is you need to communicate with that audience with consistency and relevance because in today’s day and age, we have very short attention spans.
So if you are not in front of me, and all the time, I will forget that you exist. So really, first a mechanism and a medium through which you will build this audience.
Number two, a mechanism and a medium through which you will then communicate with the set audience to build that trust and relationship. And then number three, something to sell to them. That’s it.
Now, here’s the crazy part. The thing that you sell to them doesn’t have to be your thing. If you love a program that is not yours, but that you highly endorsed that’s good enough. That’s called affiliate marketing.
So you could sell someone else’s thing. It could be coaching, it could be consulting, it could be physical products. You may have an e-commerce store. I mean, look at this. at a very high level.
Look at Apple. Apple has a devout audience that loves and trusts them. Apple does stay in communication. They’ve got stores all over the place. They send emails, they’ve got product releases happening all the time.
So they stay in touch with their audience. And then number three, they got lots of amazing products. I can tell you how many I can’t tell you how many Apple products I’ve bought.
I don’t know why I bought them and never really used them never really touched them. But they’re an Apple product, I had to have it. So you can go as high as an apple company. It’s, you know, one of the most well known, I think it’s one of the most valuable companies in the world.
Top Five at least or you can come down to the roots of building a small affiliate business or an e-commerce store. Doesn’t matter. The three fundamental basics are audience communicate, monetize.
Anik Singal’s Conversion Academy
Yep, absolutely. And each of those elements is critical in their own right. I know that you are a big fan of copywriting.
And because that is obviously the mechanism by which you communicate with people and move people to take action.
And you’ve also launched what’s called your Copywriting Academy Do you want to maybe touch on, I guess, the core elements that you see being important with copywriting but importantly, I’m interested in how you launch that Copywriting Academy because you did a bit of a different model to some people. And yeah, maybe you can touch on that a little bit.
I’d love to yeah, it’s a loaded question. So I’ll go back anytime you talk about copywriting you’re gonna get me perked up sitting at the edge of my seat and ready to go.
So I’m, uh, you know, if there are two things I geek out on its data for ads, or data in general and business and copywriting. Which is crazy because I’m a D minus English student I told you know, I told you I had a full scholarship when I went into the pre-med program and that was not because I’m smart. I’m not the smartest kid ever in any room.
Any room I’ve ever been in. I’m not the smartest person but I will tell you this is it. It’s very rare that you’ll put me in a room where someone in that room will outwork me. And so that’s where my grades came from. But my first d minus ever got in high school, I was a straight-A student.
My first D minus was in my writing class. I don’t like writing, I hate it actually, it’s boring. And well, I should say I hated it. I love it now in the sense of I get the purpose of it, but when I started my business, so when I was struggling, you know, I had this run and so I created this product, I put everything out there, I worked really hard on it, and, and it was failing.
And so this is during my 18 months of failing and right towards when I finally did have success, it’s funny because I had this Phantom person who came to me whose name I told him till this day, don’t know.
But then I also had this other individual who was introduced to me whose name was Justin Ford and really, you know, older guy, at least for me at that time.
I mean, he would have been in his 40s and I was in college, but such a nice guy and so full of wisdom. And he’d always say these little catchy lines and he would just catch my attention.
And one day he read something I had written and he said, “Hey, kid, you know Who wrote this?”
And I was like, “Oh my god, oh my god. Here we go. Because my English teacher was hard on me. I was like all this damage around the writing topic and I admitted and so it’s me I’m sorry, it probably sucks but I’ll do better”. And he said no, I think you’ve got potential.
I want you to be my intern. I want to teach you copywriting. And oh my god, I laughed. I thought you lost your mind old man, you crazy. I will rather pluck out my left eye then do anything in the world of writing.
But he wouldn’t give up on me. He just stayed on me and then one day he offered me a free trip to Delray Beach, Florida for an event for copywriters. Now I’m a broke college kid. He’s offering to pay for my hotel and flights to go to Delray Beach, Florida, so I thought alone was worth it.
But I wanted to honor his gifts. And so I said, I would take the conference seriously and opened my mind. So I’m sitting at this conference, and they come forward and they announce the keynote speaker, I didn’t even know he was a keynote, they say, “Ladies and gentlemen, help us welcome to the stage. Our keynote speaker Michael Masterson, also known as Mark Ford”.
And my jaw fell to the ground for two reasons. One, I don’t like copywriting but I was in the marketing world long enough at that point to know who Michael Masterson was, arguably one has the best copywriters I’ve ever lived.
And I was in awe but the part that got my attention was his name. I didn’t realize his name was Mark Ford. The crazy thing is the person who eventually went on to become my mentor.
His name was Justin Ford. So as soon as lunch came, I went running to the, to see where Justin. I said:”He’s got the same last name as you”. And he says, “That’s my big brother”.
And I was like, “Oh my god, what have I been doing?” I said, Justin, yeah, like bowed before. I said, “Sir, please forgive me, I will do whatever you say, Take me under your wing”.
And he started teaching me how to write and he said this one quote to me, which changed my life and he said, “Every successful business person must be able to sell through the art of the written word”.
When he first said, I was like, What the heck does that mean? I don’t think I understood the true emphasis of that statement until I had done over 100 million in sales online.
I mean, I’ve done 250 million in sales to date took me until the first hundred million that I’ve thought back to what he had said and said, there is no truer statement in the world of entrepreneurship and that is, every successful business person must be able to sell through the art of the written word.
And so for me copywriting at that event, copywriting found purpose. And it was because I couldn’t see the purpose of it that I never took it seriously. And that is copywriting is a physical representation of your message when you’re not around.
And that may not be an epiphany moment for you right now. But if you let it sink, it will be my new book that I wrote that I give away to everybody for free.
Because for me, teaching copywriting and talking about copywriting has become a mission. It’s not even about the money I make from it. I just feel like the world needs to hear it. This is how I can help save the world. No one should ever read a bad copy ever again. You know, it’s like that’s my Superman moment.
So I give this book away for free and call the book “The Silent Salesman” because that’s what copywriting is. That’s what writing is.
It’s a physical representation of you, your thoughts, your opinions, or your ideas when you’re not around. And that changed how I looked at it.
So it’s started my journey with that and so we actually launched Conversion Academy recently not Copywriting Academy, I had a Copywriting Academy and merged it into Conversion Academy.
And it’s become a mission for me. So in addition to the revenue, and that’s all good and great, we have amazing programs, I just decided this is going to be a message.
So my whole mission for this has been to take the message of good copy to 100,000 entrepreneurs. And we actually already have 22,000 in our Facebook group right now.
So I’m like, wow, I’m already almost a quarter away there. And we haven’t even started our evergreen funnels yet. So that’s gonna start soon. But really, I can tell you if simplified conversion and copywriting is more than anyone else I’ve ever learned from.
And I love all the Guru’s and I love all the people that teach this. But the thing is, the internet has completely changed it and unfortunately, a lot of the training around copywriting has not evolved, but the minds have.
We have as a matter of fact, Microsoft did a study in 2015 that proved that the average attention span of a human being is now eight seconds.
That is less than that of a goldfish which has nine seconds and if we are fundamentally thinking differently And acting different how can the messaging and marketing not change, it has.
So I actually say that direct marketing is dying. I’m known for my controversial statement in the industry that interactive marketing is born to the degree that I actually bought that domain name has been a ton of money.
I was like, that’s what I want. I tell my wife all the time as a joke. I said on my tombstone, I want it to say, “Great husband, a great father and founder of interactive marketing”, you know, like, because that’s how it is today.
You have to write copy differently, have to engage and interact with your audience, you have to break things down into micro-commitments, and, you know, the whole funnel ideology which never existed 20 years ago.
And so I broke copywriting down into just five simple steps. And really all it is in the end of the day is it’s just a big story.
And I’ve changed the way people look at copy. Everyone will say copywriting purposes to sell. And it actually isn’t. Copywriting’s purpose is to get and retain attention. That’s it.
So the truth is, the longer I retain your attention, the more likely I’m going to sell you. Its as simple as that.
And so I created a simple formula where I don’t talk about fancy words, I don’t talk about trigger words and power words and blah, blah, blah. That’s all not necessary.
I talk about psychology, talk about consumer behavior. And I talk about how to keep someone’s attention and I walk them through a journey that eventually leads to them choosing to purchase from you.
So as long as you’re hitting the core purpose of each of the five steps, you’re going to be fine. It doesn’t matter what words you use. We talk a lot about narrative consumer psychology, it’s just so much deeper and once you know these things, you can’t help but become a better communicator.
So it’s really a different approach to copywriting completely, which has helped me a ton because we are pumping out students that are becoming really successful copywriters, left, right and center, and in a timely fashion that never seen before.
So I do a 21-day challenge, which is now getting into you said How did I launch Conversion Academy 21-day challenge my commitment to people is I’ll turn you into a better copywriter than 80% of the world in 21 days.
That’s a big statement, and I’ve been delivering on it left and right, because of my approach the way we do it. But I want to take a pause real quick.
I mean, are you ready for me to talk about how I launch a Conversion Academy because that will completely pivot away from the conversion and copywriting topic, but…
The Five Steps That Shapes A Copy
I would love to hear about how you launch conversion Academy but I know that our listeners are probably thinking, what are these five steps?
Yes, so the five steps I’ll try to go through them as quickly as possible. Again, the steps in and of themselves. It’s going to underwhelm you the names are not that attractive, but you got to remember I’m a purpose-driven person.
So the true gold of the knowledge is in the purpose of this step. So step one is the introduction. Step two is the story. Step three is content. Step four is the transition. Step five is pitch.
Now again, everyone’s “Ahh great Anik, what an evolution!” no hold on one second because Okay, so let’s talk about the purpose of each one.
Step one introduction, what is the purpose of the introduction. A lot of times you hear people start their pitches with Hi, my name is Anik Singal. And I am blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Nobody cares. Nobody cares.
You got to remember one thing when you’re writing a copy when you’re selling something, nobody cares about you. I hate to say it, I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be mean, but nobody cares.
So the purpose of the introduction is what’s in it for them. So if I’m starting a presentation. I’m going to start with: “Today, I’m going to share with you five, the five-step systems I’ve used to sell over $250 million. I can promise every single one of you could double the conversions of your products and sales after this presentation. Hi, my name is Anik Singal”.
So you start with what’s in it for them. You kind of get their attention. Remember Microsoft study, eight seconds, they will leave, they don’t care. their phones are dinging they got all kinds of messages flying their way.
So now we move to story. What’s the purpose of the story? Most people would think the purpose of a story is to build your credibility. This is why people will go and brag during their stories. I’m this I’m that I’ve done this. I’ve done that.
Well. Again, I’m sorry to say you’d be wrong because that is actually not the purpose of a story. The purpose of a story is actually to build relatability. So if I come on to teach you copywriting and I’m like, “Hi. Yes, I’m a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Ph.D., master’s in English and writing from Harvard. I’ve written seven New York Times bestseller books, and hey, I’m here to tell you how easy writing is”. The person’s like: “What?”
You know, I’m none of those things. This makes no sense. So, versus when I tell my story of copywriting. I always like to say, “Guys, I’m a D minus English student, borderline hate writing, yet it’s made me a quarter billion dollars”.
So the purpose of the story is actually to build relatability. It’s to make sure the other person feels connected to you and feels that if you can do it, they can do it.
So I always talk about Batman versus Robin, this is the visual I lead people with a story Don’t be Batman unless you are a coach or consultant unless you are the product don’t ever be Batman.
Because if I came to you today and said hey, what do you do at three In the morning every day, you’re like, well, I’m sleeping. That’s so selfish of you. Why don’t you go and save the world Batman does. He’d say, I’m not Batman. You know I don’t have a billion-dollar tool chest. I don’t have a guy making me all these amazing I’m not, you know, amazing gadgets. I’m not in the best shape of my life.
But if I told you, could you please meet Batman at the corner of K and 50? He needs a ride down the street to the crime scene you’d say sure, give them a ride.
That’s Robin. Be Robin be the one that brings Batman to people but don’t be Batman because no one relates to Batman. So the story’s purpose is relatability.
Step three is content. I’m gonna give you guys a very simple rule to follow in your sales presentations that will immediately double triple your conversions.
The Content’s purpose is credibility. Now, most people go through what I thought what a story what were no people no longer need you to tell them how amazing they are.
They will determine it for themselves. Consumers have taken full control in today’s day and age of marketing. Do you want credibility with me? Tell me something I didn’t know, help me have an AHA Moment.
That is where you get the sale. The pitch is never where you get the sale most people get this wrong, it is the content that you get the sale. So what I always leave people with is make sure your content portion of your pitch has at least three to five aha moments. Now, what do I mean by that?
Because you don’t want to start teaching people, never give them the “How”, give only the “What” only. But the big challenge in front of you is going to be how do you help someone have an AHA Moment with a “What?”.
So an AHA Moment, the easiest way to have one is to say something that’s controversial, say something that’s the opposite of what they’re used to hearing, and prove it with a stat, prove it with a study.
So for example, when Atkins diet first came out, here’s this crazy guy saying you can eat as much beef and meat and bacon as you want to lose weight.
But he proved some statistical study and turned the whole idea of carb versus fat. And so that’s a Major AHA. So you instantly get credibility because that person thinks man did not know that. Now I do. This person obviously knows more than I must be in their presence.
So three to five AHA moments, things that make people go “Wow, that’s cool. I didn’t know that and thought of it that way”. That’s where you get the sale.
Then you move into transition. So what’s the purpose of transition? Well, if you’ve done one, two and three very well, you’ve kind of gotten friendly. The person likes you, they’re getting to feel related to you.
They feel like they can connect with you. And now suddenly you can ask them for money. “HUH! Why? Why would you ask me for money? This is the most sacred topic”.
And so it’s very simple. The purpose of transition is to answer the WHY, address the elephant in the room. Why do you want my money? And sometimes it’s as simple as Listen man, it costs money to make this TV. I need your money to help me pay that and I need a margin. And the person thinks it is reasonable. I get it.
Okay, fine. But the other big purpose of transition or the way to think about transition is people always say sell the subconscious. You’re right. Actually, the subconscious is first, but the subconscious doesn’t buy.
The subconscious only wants to buy it is actually the conscious that buys. And the pitch is the part where we talk to the conscious mind. But the transition is where you have to transition from the subconscious to the conscious so your transition has to be a very logical transference.
So in my case, when I, when I do a transition, I say listen, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a team of over 50 people of a 26,000 square foot physical center here, we run a support time where we respond to our students within three hours or less, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year”.
“So I’m here. So you can imagine this costs a lot of money for us to run. We don’t want to sacrifice our service ever. So this is the price that we charge because this helps us make sure that we run a sustainable business”.
And all of a sudden you deflate people’s price objections and all that it’s perfectly fair, it makes sense. You would think it’s obvious, right? But just even stating it can just completely deflate the transition into a pitch.
And then step number five is your pitch. Now again, I asked what’s the purpose of a pitch most people would say, well, the purpose of a pitch is to get the sale, wrong.
Most people who are watching a webinar or VSL, they know there’s a pitch coming. They’re fully aware of that. So if they’re still there, and you’ve started pitching, they’re already sold.
They would have left otherwise, the only question left on their mind now is how much that’s why they’re watching. So they’re already sold. No one asks how much unless they’re sold.
So the purpose of a pitch is to confirm the sale, not to get the sale to confirm. That’s why you see people say, “But wait, there’s more bonus, one bonus two bonus!” because you’re stacking.
And the rule to follow that I follow and teach my students is 10X, whatever you’re going to charge, make sure the conscious mind, the logical mind feels it’s getting at least 10 times that back.
So you know, prime example here being I’m going to sell something for 997. Well, I’m going to stack my offer to make sure the logical conscious mind says “Wow, I’m getting $10,000 in return, I would be stupid not to buy this”. And that’s the purpose of a pitch is to confirm the sale and that’s why you see value stacking.
So that’s the five steps and that pretty much shapes every single piece of copy I ever write whether it’s an email, a video sales letter or a webinar, a written sales letter or even a face to face communication. I mean, this is, you know what I might be at a party has nothing to do with business.
And I promise you I’m a shy guy if no one knows this about me, a true introvert, okay, I don’t like being around people much. But I can walk into a room and within 10 minutes have the entire room wrapped around me watching me talking to me, because I follow this five-step communication framework, even in a scenario that has nothing to do with business.
How He Built-Up Conversion Academy
Yeah, fascinating. I’ve furiously written down a whole bunch of notes. So I’ve definitely learned some things. Thank you so much. And as you know, you know, you write a good message, you need to get the right person in front of that message.
And this is kind of where traffic definitely comes into play, obviously, without with the wrong message and the right traffic and also fails, but do you want to maybe talk about how you have built conversion Academy to get the right person in front of this perfectly constructed message and yet how you and sort of how you’ve done that.
Yeah, I’d love to. So, you know, this is me, this is me really, really reaching into my toolbox giving up some of my best stuff.
Because I believe what I’ve created with Conversion Academy is soon going to be copied by a lot. And that’s cool.
I’ve been in this industry for 17 years, and I take great pride in having been the pioneer of a lot of funnel styles that have gotten copied, and it’s fun, and I love it and forces me to keep innovating.
So when I was launching conversion Academy, I had a few goals. One was, I didn’t want another 997, 1997, 2997 program, I could launch one and my education in this field is worth far more, no doubt, but because this was message-driven for me and I wanted to reach the masses, having a high ticket wasn’t gonna help me do that.
So I needed to come in and do something that was very inexpensive, you know, a hundred bucks, or something like that. But now the problem with that is, it’s not financially viable to do evergreen ads and media buying and it should be worth my time financially as well and I should have room to buy ads that’s the only way I’ll scale My message to reach 100,000 people. So great. What do we do then?
Well, we have upsells. But that’s great. But there needs to still be profit. I run a business, not a nonprofit, at least Lurn isn’t it. And so I thought, Okay, let’s do continuity, we’ll make sure that there is a $200 a month continuity, and that could, and that is good anyways, because you’re not going to learn copy unless you have continuous touchpoints with me, and you give me an opportunity.
It’s a repetition thing. It’s going to take months for us together for someone to learn to copy well. But man, continuity is difficult.
It’s not easy, and there’s always high attrition, and people are scared. I’ve always said this, I can sell. It’s easier to sell a $1,000 program than it is to sell a $100 a month program. It’s far easier to sell a thousand dollar program. What’s that?
I would totally agree with you.
Yeah, absolutely. Right? But that’s not what I wanted here. Because I wanted to build a community. I wanted to build people that stick that stay and that people I could track their results and I could help them and guide them.
So Alright, now I’m going to build continuity, even though I haven’t done this In so many years, I’m going to fight the, you know, I’m gonna fight all of this stuff. So I started studying all the different models out there, I concocted my own little model.
First thing, I knew some things about my audience. My audience loves webinars, they are trained for it over years and years. They show up to them, they enjoy them, they buy from them.
So I said, I want to do a webinar because that’s what my list is used to. And I’m not going evergreen yet, right? So I wasn’t even worried about how I would launch it evergreen, I’m going to first test it on my own audience.
So okay, I’m going to do a webinar, but then I’m like, a $97 offer for a webinar. That’s silly. So then I started seeing this major impact that I’m seeing from people doing challenge funnels.
There’s a lot of conversation out there about challenge funnels. Now. I wasn’t really as interested in the data of the challenge funnels as far as the monetary data as I was the more intangible that I was hearing from people, which was the action the students were taking.
I was really intrigued by that. So I thought what if this came together to me, I said, What if you typically challenge funnels, they work like this, you buy a challenge for whatever 20 bucks, 30 bucks, hundred bucks depends on the challenge 50 bucks. And it goes for two weeks, three weeks.
And then at the end of that usually you have this culminating webinar where everyone shows up and then you sell your two $3,000 offers. So I thought, Man, that that sounds like a lot of work doesn’t sound very scalable.
You have to like to run the challenge. Everyone has to be on the same page at the same time you run it every month, it’s just a lot of administrative work. Why can’t I just auto like, why can’t the challenge just start the day you join? And you just go through it in 21? You know, I want to do a 21-day challenge.
And so and then I thought, God, you’re losing so many people if you’re waiting until the end of 21 days and then trying to get everybody on a webinar and selling your two $3,000 program to make this whole campaign viable financially.
And I just thought to myself, like what if we make the challenge $97 and just auto-bill people into a 197 a month and now you’ve given me 21 days to blow you away with amazing data, I’m sorry, with amazing content to convince you to re-bill into 197 a month to not just re-bill, but to be happy about it to be like, I’m excited.
So everyone’s like, ah, doesn’t work like that. I thought you know what the heck with everyone, I’m gonna give it a shot. Yeah, so we put it together. And I knew the key behind the success of this campaign was going to be to get my students to take the 21-day challenge and to get results from the 21 Day Challenge.
So I had to put my best content out to really deliver on my promise of an alternative into a better copywriter than 80% of the world in 21 days. So I put my heart and soul into this. I love you know, I love this stuff so much.
I don’t need PowerPoints. I don’t need slides that oozes out of me. So I really put together an amazing program. And in that I’m constantly edifying the continuity. I’m constantly telling them I’m even challenging them.
Because our platform is custom built so you can actually upgrade your membership earlier. You don’t have to wait till the end of the 21 days. So throughout the 21 days, I’m like, hit that button.
Let’s stop. Let’s stop dancing around. Let’s stop playing around. I want you to commit to being with me for at least a year. And so I got all those concepts of psychology, this piece is happening.
And so we put it out there. And the next piece, the next big piece of my marketing was I know how to get webinar rooms filled.
And so I wrote my book because I know the value of a book, every book I’ve ever written has turned into a multi seven-figure book for me every book, yet, I couldn’t care less what Amazon’s paying me and not one of them is published by a publisher because I refuse to give my book to a publisher. I use them as lead generation.
So the promise I gave to my list was this look, I wrote a book called The “Silent Salesman”. It’s about how I sold a quarter billion dollars using this five-step formula. awesome book, you get the book, I wrote it, by the way, in five days, it was audio, I create the audiobook gave it to a couple writers, they spun it out, the book was full, head to toe done in two weeks, but my part was about 10 hours of time, and over five days, because, you know, God forbid if I worked 10 hours in a day, so it was two hours each day for five days.
And I basically dangled the book in front of my audience. Since I show up for the webinar, and you get the book at the very end of the webinar, and now I got just 3000 people packed into a webinar that wants to learn about copywriting.
And at the end of it, I positioned this offer in front of them. And then we ran an encore. And we did the whole webinar funnel like I like to do. And we ended up putting almost 1200 people into the challenge.
And what’s amazing is that 50% of them, this is after refunds, after cancellations over 50% of them have consciously voluntarily stayed in at the 197 a month.
So in one swoop, I built a six-figure a month continuity business, doing what I love teaching, they love it, we were actually hitting our second month of re-bills already seeing amazing retention.
And on top of that, I’ve been able to bring three of them into us as interns into Lurn, now they’re helping write copy for my company. I mean, it’s just been, it’s been amazing, but the thing I’m most excited about is the data that has come out of it.
The financials are so lucrative that I can absolutely suck at the ads and we’re going to do well. And that was what I was hoping for.
So now I’m recrafting the funnel because the funnel I built was definitely targeted to my list is not going to work evergreen I don’t think and so I’m building a new funnel right now which I’m really excited about should be up in a few weeks and then we’ll start the ads and my goal and dream and hope is over the next year, year and a half to make Conversion Academy the de facto place that people go to to learn about funnels, copywriting and conversion.
What His Funnels Looks Like for Challenges
Wow, that’s absolutely fascinating. And I’m kind of not surprised that the initial offer of the challenge worked well. I personally ran a seven-day challenge retargeting challenge teaching people how to create a retargeting campaign on both Facebook and Google.
And it was incredibly powerful. For people, because I knew that if I can get people to create retargeting campaigns, it’s going to work because retargeting works for most businesses, not all, but most, and then they’re gonna want more traffic.
So it was a great way to get people to commit for seven days. It’s a short amount of time, it’s digestible, which is the same as your 21-Day Challenge, and gets people to actually sit down and go, yes, I can do this as opposed to the promise of like your promise.
You know, I wouldn’t be better than 80% of other copywriters, let’s that’s quite daunting for people. But hey, 21 days, I can give you 21 days, and it sort of it makes it easy for people to commit.
So yeah, I’m kind of not surprised that that worked incredibly well. But I think the real genius that you applied to it was just automatically adding that continuity onto the back of it.
I’m assuming, you know, people were well aware that that was going to happen, and therefore you can continue to help them. So you mentioned you’re converting that into something evergreen.
I’m curious as to how you’re going to get that message out to people. You can do Facebook ads, YouTube ads, what’s, what’s your funnel? Do you think that’s gonna look like that?
So, um, so yeah, my funnel for this is going to be very I’ve, at least in theory, created a very, very different style of funnel. And so I haven’t tested it yet, but I’ll put it out there.
So first and foremost, I’ll tell you one thing on ads, the impact of holding a book in your hand and saying, Get this book for free. It’s just so powerful. People love it.
And so I’m going to continue to lean on my silent seller book, and they’ll get it for free by coming in opting in, but as soon as they opt-in, I’m going to put them through a series of very short pages where they answer questions.
So it’s going to start a self qualification process as soon as you opt-in. Next page is going to say, hey, the book is on its way, it’s in your email.
But wait, I have a question. Would you be interested in turning into a better copywriter than 80% of the world in 21 days or less? There’s a yes or no.
If they say no, then it’s just going to take them to a thank you page, which has a video of me giving them the book, but then also challenging their know, saying, you might want to reconsider, you know, check this out, I got a 21-day challenge, I really think you should be a part of it. And if they click forward, they’ll go to my sales page.
But assuming they click Yes, they’re going to see another little short question box, that’s just going to say, okay, that’s fine. But are you willing to commit at least 30 minutes a day? And so then again, they say yes. And they say, Okay, great.
Now also, it’s a requirement that if you do this, you have to be an active participant in the community. We have over 1100 people or we have at this point 600 people in the community, would you be willing to actively participate in help while you get help? Right?
And so they say yes, so if you see what I’m doing there I am making themselves qualify, and I’m getting some core messaging out in front of them.
Probably there’s another one with two questions and this is something I have done very successfully in the past. So um, you can see how when I’m building funnels nowadays, I’m like reaching into things that I did 8,9,10 years ago and things that I’m seeing done today well and merging them into one beautiful symphony, hopefully.
And so there will be four or five of these and then eventually they land on a page that makes them the offer for $97. And, of course, there will be an autoresponder sequence or we’re going to work on for 21 days that will also tailor to based on what they’re saying it’ll change.
And now how many I can’t go 21 days just saying, Hey, you know, read the sales page, hey, read the sales page, read the sales page. So there’s gonna be content spread throughout those 21 days, and getting them to different videos to watch where then I have another opportunity to, you know, re-challenge some of their objections potentially.
So, we have some assets that we’ll be using in the funnel, we have our book, we have our challenge the sales page, I also have this amazing Facebook group that constantly without me even asking Students are in there just raving about the challenge and posting their results and posting what they’re getting.
So it’s awesome because it just helps solidify from a third party perspective what the value is. So I have the ability throughout my series of emails to invite them into the free Facebook group.
I have a YouTube channel where I post a lot of copywriting videos I’ll invite them over there. And then I also have that webinar that I had done that now can be evergreen.
So the webinar converted really well, although I don’t want to use it as my, I don’t want to use it as like the anchor for the promotion. But there’s no reason why someone’s not offered an opportunity to watch that in an on-demand situation.
So I’ve got all these different assets that lay in front of me. I’ve got to get these assets in front of these people within the first 21 to 30 days.
And really what I’m finding is we have run the math as you and I were joking before, I’m a big data person. If I can convince 3% of the people who opt-in for my book, to buy the $97 challenge. I am in profit.
Wow, that’s amazing:
And if I can’t convince 3% of people who opted in for a book about copywriting to buy my challenge, then something’s wrong with me.
Totally. I’m just curious. So in your main ad, though, you’re going to obviously lead with the book to give it away for free.
I’m just curious in your ad, are you going to mention your conversion Academy, or is it something that you just don’t even go there with now?
No, I won’t mention it. I’ll just talk about the book, I’ll anchor the book. This is what I want to give this book to them for free.
And that I might anchor that I have a community that hey, if you get this book, you’re invited into a community and that we do a lot of copywriting training and teaching, which I do have a Facebook group, I have my challenge.
I have tons of things on YouTube, so I’m fulfilling that. But no, there’s no real reason to muddy the waters because if I start talking about other stuff, I’m just going to decrease my click-through rates and increase my cost per clicks.
I will build my funnel in such a way that it warms the person up I’m a big believer that every piece of a funnel and an ad is a piece of a funnel should have one purpose and one purpose only and try to do something that’s too far down the line.
You’re just going to ruin your results. So for example, the purpose of an ad is to get a click, let’s just get the click. I mean, obviously I want to edify. So the book, the click, the purpose of the opt-in page is to get the opt-in maybe a little bit of edification of what happens afterward.
But let’s not try to mix six messages into one thing. It’s just going to drop conversions create conversions and create confusion. So now once they get the book, once they opt-in for the free book, now, the purpose of the next page is to qualify them to read my sales page. So it’ll continue to go down that track, but no, I think the ad will literally just be about the book.
Biggest Mistake Along His Journey
Yeah, awesome. I’m mindful of the time we’re sort of getting to the top of the hour.
But there’s one sort of last question that I wanted to ask you. You deal a lot with, obviously, with entrepreneurs and people on their entrepreneurial journey as somebody who let’s pretend you are starting now what’s the one thing that you would do now?
I guess, it’s another way of asking this: what sort of been your biggest mistake along the journey that you’ve had?
Oh, man, that’s a loaded question because I actually wish there was one biggest one. I’ve made so many mistakes.
You know, so I lean back to when I fell that fell $1.7 million in debt. And there was something I learned back then. I’ve had to remind myself of at least a couple more times since then.
But man, stick to the basics stick to the simple system. And I think as entrepreneurs, we’ve got this massive shiny object syndrome, and we gotta get away from it.
So sometimes when things are working too well when they’re simple, and they get boring, we want to complicate things just for the sake of adding excitement in our life. And don’t do it because sometimes you don’t want that excitement.
So I’m really like, even today, I’m building this company, Lurn I’m gonna build hopefully, what is the multi, you know, nine-figure company, build an audience, talk to your audience and sell to them. Simple, right?
Don’t get any more complicated than that. know who you are, know your system. I don’t know, I’ve got friends that are doing 20,30 million a year with ecomm tons of them.
And I know I could do that. But I don’t let it distract me. I know who I am. I know what my business is. I know what I’m good at. No, what I My strength is, I’m going to stay at that.
That’s one thing, I would definitely say that. The other thing I would say is that I didn’t become as data-driven until maybe the last four or five years. At this point, my team knows, I don’t care what it is you want, you want to do a team trip to the Caribbean, and you want to pitch it to me, come to me with data if you don’t get data, it’s not gonna work.
I don’t think marketing is not creative. I don’t believe marketing as a creative position. Marketing is a data-driven position, every decision I make today in my business, from a person I’m hiring to an atom running to a funnel, I’m building its data, if the data points it so I’m not a risk-taker at this point.
If I want to take risks, I’m going to go to the casinos because actually most entrepreneurs might have a 5 or 10% chance of succeeding, you’re better off playing craps in Vegas.
So if I’m going to do this, I want to make sure the odds are 70, 80, 90% of my favor before I do anything. So yeah, you know, I’m just a very data-driven person.
So I would tell people also you know, please stop being emotional and stop thinking businesses about creativity. It just isn’t. It’s about data.
Learn More About Anik Singal
Yeah, nice. Well, you know, taking preaching to the converted there. Before we wrap up, where can people find out more information about you and the different places that they can find you online?
Yeah, thank you so much. Well, listen, everyone, I’d love to invite you to listen to my podcast. It’s a heart of mine. I love doing it. We interview amazing people. It’s very tactical.
So my podcast you always walk away with really tactical strategies, marketing business, new businesses, how to build, how to get traffic, how to get conversions, go to iTunes or go to YouTube, type in “The Fighting Entrepreneur”.
So The Fighting Entrepreneur you can also find it at Anik Podcast – anikpodcast.com we’d love to have you, we publish two episodes a week and just you know, everyone loves it.
And we’ve been really blessed with that. And then of course, join us at Lurn- Lurn.com. Please Sign up for an absolutely free membership, and we’ve got lots of amazing things. We’ve got 380,000 people in our community at Lurn.
And lots of amazing courses that are free and all of that and if you want the book that I mentioned earlier, and want to join my Facebook group for just learning more about copywriting you can go to SilentSeller.com/FB for Facebook so SilentSeller.com/FB it’ll ask you to join the Facebook group when you do.
One of the videos in the announcements will tell you how to get the book for free.
That is awesome. Anik, thank you so much for taking time out of your day. I know we’re all busy people even though we are in lockdown. We’re all getting to work in that even in lockdown.
So thank you so much for taking time out of your day and coming and sharing your journey and your copywriting secrets and all that so thank you so much.
Awesome. You’re most welcome. Thank you for having me. And as I always say to everybody, when I finish a talk I just say when life pushes you, stand straight and smile and push it the heck back.
Thank you so much for having me.